January 16, 2018

Who decides morality?

by Doug Wright

Yesterday, supporters and opponents of “gay marriage” rallied around a fast food chicken sandwich provider — somewhat humorous when you think about it. You can express your convictions by eating on Wednesday or kissing on Friday. I will definitely be eating on Wednesday, and I might go Friday with my wife (female) of 28 years and give her a kiss!

At the core of this upheaval is the question, “how do we decide what our moral standard is as a nation? Should the government even attempt to dictate morality?” These are legitimate questions. Even good Christian people are wrestling with those questions. The fact is that all governments dictate moral standards. Murder, rape, theft, espionage, etc. — these are moral standards. Anthropologists acknowledge that mankind has an unexplainable universal moral standard.

Who decides what the moral standard is? The options fall into three broad categories — A Divine Being (God), a sovereign dictator, or the will of the people. In other words, we ask God what moral standards we should live by, allow either a king or dictator to tell us, or poll the populace. Two of the three are problematic. Kings are human and their standards are fallible. The populace is fickle and drifts to the lowest common denominator. Observable in our country is the divide between the left and right (conservative and liberal). The rhetoric is increasingly vitriolic, and given the current course, the outlook is dim. The only wise course is to submit to Divine leadership.

Our forefathers wisely included in our founding documents the Divine God of the Bible. The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence mentions “Nature’s God” and the second paragraph acknowledges our “Creator.” Thus, our nation and our government were designed with an understanding that a Divine being (God) establishes guidelines for moral dictates.

I realize that this opens the door for many questions. One that continually comes up is, “what about ‘separation of church and state?’” That phrase, attributed to Patrick Henry, was intended to stop government interference in church. It was not intended to keep biblical morality out of government and society. Our forefathers had that discussion and gave us documents that allowed a nation to flourish – let’s have that discussion again.

King Solomon in the Old Testament noted, “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach [disgrace] to any people.” The bottom line is that we have to let God define “sin.” That is not popular, but it is wise, logical, and biblical.

Doug Wright is pastor of Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville, VA.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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